The daughter of a Japanese mother and Irish-American father, Marie (pronounced "Ma-ree-AY") Digby has garnered tremendous exposure during the past year. The singer/songwriter and Los Angeles native has become a favorite on website YouTube and has found her songs placed in a number of television series. Toss in some positive press from Rolling Stone magazine and an appearance on Last Call with Carson Daly, and you get a sense of the whirlwind that has surrounded her. On Wednesday, June 11, Digby will make her debut Birmingham appearance at Workplay. Recently, Digby spoke to the Weekly's Brent Thompson from her Philadelphia hotel room.
BT: Marie, is there any way to describe what the past year has been like for you?
MD: It feels like it's been one long continuous day (laughs). It's been exactly one year since I started posting videos. For me to look back and think of all the different places I've seen and the people I've met, it's just incredible. I can't believe this has all happened within a year.
BT: You've been able to gain exposure from modern outlets such as YouTube and iTunes. This is obviously an exciting time for artists given the technology that is available.
MD: I do feel like I'm part of this new genre of artists that are using the tools that we can find to get our music out there. Obviously, the biggest, fastest and cheapest one is the Internet. There's no substitute for actually getting out on the road and playing for people live, but it's a great supplement to that.
BT: Being a native of Los Angeles, did you see any benefit to growing up in a music industry town?
MD: I can honestly say that even though it was all around me, I never paid attention to it until I decided that's what I wanted to do. But when I did make that decision, I think it was beneficial that I was living in a big city. I was an intern at a record label for about six months and I learned a lot from that experience.
BT: How did the material on your new album, Unfold, evolve? Had these songs existed for a while or did they come to you in a short creative burst?
MD: The saying that you have your whole life to write your first record is true. The songs span as far back as when I was 16 or 17 years old and I'm 25 now. Luckily, they still feel relevant.
BT: Given that some of the songs date back nine years, how do they stay fresh to you today?
MD: If the song is written honestly, it's not hard to go back to that place when performing it even if you don't feel the same way anymore. I only chose the songs that I thought were real honest to put on the record, so I don't find it difficult to get into them when I'm performing live.
BT: Your songs have appeared in television series including Smallville and The Hills and they've been heard in a number of made-for-TV movies. If you will, talk about these placements and their effect on your career.
MD: It's true. Radio is very tough to break - they seem to be playing the same thing over and over. That's why film and TV are becoming so important in gaining exposure for artists. It's done wonders for me.
Marie Digby will perform at Workplay on Wednesday, June 11. Justin Nozuka and Eric Hutchinson will open the 8 p.m. show. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at www.workplay.com or by calling 380-4082.